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December 2020
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February 2021

The Art of Reclaimed Time

A large part of wanting to be more mindful was to reduce the mindlessness. The time between the times I start reflecting on being mindful. The awareness of mindlessness was predominantly associate with mobile device activity and more specifically when scrolling through and checking notifications in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Over the years, I have been on social media since 2007 I have noticed I engage less and less. Since lockdown the mindlessness was becoming mind numbing. I craved coherent hashtags with dialog, insight and debate which often came with conference coverage. I was finding less and less I wanted to read.

Selecting Mindfulness was also an attempt to reactivate my attention span. Work life balance can’t be living what you do enough to merge it without reluctance into your leisure.

Time to craft and make is one think I wanted to find time for. Reading fiction and non fiction is another.

I have felt this weekend with the mindfulness during my working week the compulsion to create for the first time in a long time. I alway take material with me on holiday to prepare for craft time. Crochet and Circle Loom knitting are my handcrafts. I like to make hats and bags. Cost of materials and time just prevented me doing them. I have materials on hand but not for a big project. I need to know I have the time and mindset to make and complete a project. 
Then there is skill and practice. There is a refresh needed and an attention required. There are accommodations for Dyslexia too. Counting is difficult and a slower pace is usually necessity.
I have been swatching.

I have leant a new crochet technique.

Here are the swatches
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This pattern led crochet is called Mosaic Crochet. I’ll be using the oddments of wool to practice before exploring colour and patterns 

My inspiration is series on YouTube.

Tinna Þórudóttir ÞorvaldarTextile artist and crochet designer from Iceland. Crochet, embroidery, yarnbombs and just all kinds of colorful happiness. All my links here:linktr.ee/Tinna


Challenging in a SafeSpace

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Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well. I would like to challenge something, hope you will not mind. [states issue, outlines how they intend to resolve the issue on a personal level] ...and would like to ask you to do the same.

I always feel these forms should be confidential and anonymous and I don't want to share my personal data or receive data from other people. 

Thank you.

All the best to you all.

SENDER


I received this email in response to one I was included in the sender list. It lightened my soul.

Having a voice and effectiveness to use it are very different.

In this instance it was a diversity survey for a small close team of creatives. The funding body required the survey be carried out.

It was sent as a list of questions via email and a few had begun responding using reply all.

AgeGender

Identity Sexual

Orientation

Nationality

Access Requirements

SafeSpace feedback


All vital company diversity data. Applications for work and large scale projects frequently ask candidates to complete an equal opportunities form. I was a little uncomfortable not because I’m not ashamed of who I am but it’s private and personal. My response was not in a reply all.

I was reassured by this response and thought it was the way to challenge a circumstance and nudge everyone to submit the info if the discomfort had prevented action until now.


Thank you. I love the way this was assertively approached. A lesson learnt.

Seemed a tangental blog post but one I wanted to share.


Producers Pool - Dates in the Diary pt1

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Towards the end of 2019 I was introduced to the concept of the Portfolio Career and it was a mindset game changer.

2019 was also the year I asked myself, which I often do year on year - "If I won the lottery what would I do?" The answer has been the same for as long as I can remember. To fund and produce independent small scale theatre working with emerging artists and directors.

This time I accepted I’d probably never win the lottery but ya do want to do this.

I know my craft as a stagemanager, my digital learning and project experience has encompassed social media and associated productivity technologies, podcast audio recording and production, I can edit video.

Mobile live-streaming and virtual worlds. Audience and augmentation.

Technology and theatre.

Not for technology but for engaging immersive idea revealing story-driven theatre. Unusual productions in extraordinary spaces. A big part of the lottery dream is to have the money to fund it.

Then there is like-minded professional networking. Nothing is more aspirational than spending time talking, listening and strategically dreaming with fellow producers. All on differing trajectories in their own careers. A community of collaborators. A tribe of mentors.

Chris Grady hosts Producers Pool.

I was, since 2018 forever attempting to synchronise my meetings in London at Equity or events by Cybersalon to draw a three-card trick where I’d get to attend a Producers Pool, Equity meeting and a Cybersalon event. Trump card would be to fit in a theatre show too.

I would augment my attendance at events on occasion, to showcase remote access potential. The immersion in ground-based experience made the strategic split to include cloud-based access hard to make happen when I was the on needing access and not providing the access which was the ultimate aim, to extend attendance.


The value and reward of cloud access were invisible to physical organisers. The concept appealed but in practice, the management of the physical event was enough.

Blending Digital and Physical looked to be a pipe dream. Then came Covid. One of the first to embrace the opportunity to pivot to digital was Producers Pool. Hurrah!

So independent producers and theatre-makers meeting monthly often with an influencing peer speaking currently happens online.

What do you have to offer?

What do you need?

This leads to the momentum and mindfulness of conversations. 

What can I offer? Insights, experience and practice to pivot to digital. What do I need? The blending back to physical with gradually lowering balanced percentage extension option to attend either way and get the same influencer insights and networking dialogue.

I don’t ask much! Am I asking too much?

Monthly on the last Wednesday, until further notice starting January 27th if you are interested in joining Producers Pool find your way to the Facebook Group.

For the mindfully invested. 

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The journey starts here www.chrisgrady.org/producers-pool
Producers' Pool (UK & International) - next meeting 4.30 pm Wed 27th January


Self Reckoning and ... Green Screen

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Blind anxiety comes accompanied by inpatient anger.

Anger at myself for being paralysed by my anxiety and rage at my mind for being consumed by the paralysis.

Trying to do the right thing in modern times is disturbingly perilous. We exist in a world of mixed cultural experience. We live in a diverse amalgam of what in the total sum of its parts gives life and society in the 21st Century its vibrancy and relevance.

But intersection of the lived experiences of others can be a pathway littered with fragility. Offence where none is intended in a mine field of cultural appropriation and inappropriate clover fields only cleared by critical thinking and mindful actions.

I stepped on a mine and the injury is to my psyche, my internal dialogue of regret, my reassurance that now I know better in contrast I’m left with the door closed and locked wondering if its just best to throw away the key.

Being at the start of a journey is daunting. Even if you enjoy the travelling the time before the time is inevitable.

There is on top of this the immediacy and confines of the digital experience. Seeing people, and being with people are very different. We are fooled that they are the same.

On our screens they are in our spaces. But they are in windows, glimpses. I do not like Zoom virtual background as I immediately know that the person is hiding their reality from me from the rest of the participants.They are choosing. 

Its ok to do that. 

The blurring of Skype and Jitsi background can provide focus while still being present in our environments. Whereby is simple presence.

I perhaps need to green screen my interactions as I realise I give too much of myself or my three dimensional reality. I assume everyone gives as I do.

Its a presumption I am to reflect on and dial back during my mindfulness adventure in 2021.


12 apps you need for 2021

Each year certain apps augment my digital experience. Some are essential, some necessary others are experimental. 

12 apps from 2020 @pcmcreative PDF

Here are my 12 from 2020

What are your 12 apps?

I really want to make that conversation with people into a podcast.

Want to be a guest? 
Get in touch - 12apps@pcmprojects.co.uk

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Living in the NOW

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There are times when advice you have received and given become relevant. That’s tends to be during an encounter where you feel that moment shared will resonate and inform someone you are with in this moment. It’s a reassurance that what they are experiencing is timely, will pass and like you they will triumph.

Your lived experience bringing hope to those who have yet to accumulate theirs.
I don’t know how my lived experience is relevant in the time of Covid.

My reflection is specifically turning to career, exams and further / higher education before the career path begins.

A world away today. A distant past that on occasion seems like yesterday and on others faded slight remembrances. 

I was always a little disappointed by my uni experience but in the light is 2020 and the dawn of 2021 want consolation can I provide? What vision of beyond the limited horizon of youth can I give?

Life will go on? Passion will endure? Love will conquer all? Listen to your head but follow your heart? 

The most influential bit of advice I ever received that truly shaped my early career in my mid to late 20’s was “don’t take a job because there’s nothing else, chase and take the jobs you want.”

It served me well in career phase one. I thought it would be just that way for the duration then I’d retire. In between there would be life, love, family and folly along side work, life and culture.

Career 2 emerged in the wake of emerging social technology. I was definitely in the wrong place at the right time! Always trying to find my place. Absorbing adulthood and learning business, adapting and adopting digital, Its potential joyously screaming community, audiences, freedom, connection. 

That time was dark with diamonds.The kick in the teeth was Brexit. The light came with lockdown.

How do I give insight that goes in the face if normalcy? I feel baffled by the present. With all my focus I failed to work and find sustained employment. All my attempts to actively find work and further my career was hard and bore minimal fruit.

Now I see possibility as I am entering career 3 it was Jan 2020 I gave in to circumstance. By March we were in the now.

This now. The story continues.


Bitcoin Blossoms #Cryptocurrency

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My initial investment of £50 in a Bitcoin Mining venture is now worth, at the time of writing this post, £6,271.27

 

In 2014 I live-streamed for Cybersalon “Where is Bitcoin 2.0 Heading?” https://cybersalon.org/bitcoinheading/ 

 

Video player with all the event speakers available on the linked page.

 

I wanted to understand and observe the cryptocurrency phenomenon. Blockchain and Crypto perspectives have been the greatest learnings. 

 

I currently have 2 points of presence for my Crypto experience.

 

- Blockchain - The App

- Celsius Wallet

 

I am not transacting in crypto. My value is split between Bitcoin, Cel and Stellar blockchains. Receiving interest on the Celsius platform has been the catalyst for the growth in value.

 

Ultimately it’s true worth in only unlocked if converted in to goods and services. I have always been on the look out for trading potential. I have never been paid in Bitcoin. I have never purchased anything using my cryptocurrency. A list of opportunities to  tick off in 2021.

 

My first encounter with digital currency was in SecondLife where it’s in-world currency Linden Dollars has an exchange rate to the British Pound. Yes I still have land in Second Life.

 

Anyone want to come build. anyone looking for a virtual space? SL Avatar - Katie Reve

 


Distilling Complexity #Legacy

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Distillation (metaphorically) subjects a source to scrutiny before producing an interpretation in a simple yet considered form. 

 

In the literal process it’s reducing a liquid to its purest form.

 

Making sense of the business world I entered following my career phase 1 (1994 - 2005) on the back of the entertainment industry I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I emerged intuitive a world at the dawn of mainstream social media. I entered the arena via a side door having met my first business network connection in virtual world SecondLife. 

 

I genuinely didn’t know Twitter was new. I encountered a group of people doing things in a different way. Instead of communication with mobile voice and text they were using a more immediate communication they were calling status updating.

 

It changed my world.

 

Over the following few years 2006 - 20010 I attempted to distil my growing understanding for my self and for those I increasingly encountered as I traversed the line of freelance and entrepreneur, worker and sole trader. 

 

Transitioning from career phase 1 to phase 2 the only constant was my self employed status. A blessing and a curse. 

 

From this time I distilled 2 sets of principle frameworks. The 7 Roads of Social Media and The 4 privacy P’s. 

 

I used these in workshops, presentations and talk during those early days of social media. Many of the attendees and subsequent conversations led several entrepreneurs to excel and become agency executives. My fondest recollection is with Jed Hallam now Chief Strategy Officer at initiative.com

 

The adage I found as a guiding principle came from Marcus Romer now a founding artist at Mutiny Projects. mutiny.org.uk

 

“Don’t add technology to the way you do things, change the way you do things once you know what the technology can do.”

 

The 7 Roads framework was first compiled for the first public talk I delivered.

 

In July 2008 it was 6 points to open the discussion about leveraging social media for business. 

 

https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/pcmcreative/social-media-and-small-businesses

 

The 7 Roads first featured in their current inception of 7 in Nov 2008

 

https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/pcmcreative/get-immersed-presentation-presentation

 

This was distilled into the foundation of the workshops and training corses I delivered marking the end of my career phase 2.

 

They stay with me, they are hard wired into my thinking but I have never written about them or how they inform development and strategy of business and creative production.


Avoidance is not Acceptance

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I’ve removed FTI (Facebook Twitter Instagram) and begun blogging with a renewed awakening of my internal existential dialogue.

For the last few years it has been consumed by financial sustainability of the basics. My rent, my food, my next opportunity. For a long time it has felt like looking for any scant opportunity and it has been extremely unpleasant.

Covid has provided an absurd light in what was a darkness In which I saw no end. 2020 ignited a light. 2021 I hope will offer a modicum of sustainability.

As we enter a new year the literal darkness with the length of day and night only gets better. The mornings get easier as the lengthening of the days extinguishes the dates bring dawn before I wake.

My routine is to wake at 7am to leave the house at 8pm for a walk. I walk once round my local park with door to door being just under an hour. On my return I have breakfast and depending on my first work commitment of the day at my home studio desk between 9.30 and 10 am.

I have been adversely affect by the early evening darkening days in the past but never with such psychological effects in the morning until 2020. 

Recognising the cause and effect on the evening of S.A.D (seasonal affective deficit) was enough to help me cope and manage after the initial paralysis by the encounter. It actually came upon me in 2002 and I encountered a seasonal depression struggle for several years until recognising the seasonal trigger of the dark early evening in 2005 so was ready for the change in the following years. 

2020 was the first year I was waking at 7 am finding the darkness a problem to reaching a level of consciousness to get me out of bed. I guess in time before COVID if I was waking to go or be somewhere the time urgency would override my perception of the daylight.

My 2020 solution was to change my operational time I decided to wake at 8 am to walk at 9 am. I was comfortably functional with the light then, I found. 

For me, The transition of sleeping to waking state has always been uncomfortable. When I recognised the morning struggle taking hold a few years ago whilst on the road for a conference and workshop roadshow. I woke with the sense of dark weight at my windows. At university and years on tour I found Night Kalms or Nytol helped me wake feeling fresher but they work best with wind down before sleeping being taken an hour before bed. Not always possible but added a confining ritual that made me overthink the purpose for taking the tablets and dreaded the night as I would overthink my waking! Heightened project responsibility tends to exacerbate my hyper consciousness.

Then the ‘there is an app for that’ era arrived I tried several alarms and sleep tracker apps I wondered if I was waking or not sleeping deeply enough. I wanted to learn about what happens during the time I sleep. The app that provides that insight and wakes me up properly is Sleep Alarm.

It really works for me. I had fallen out of the habit of using the app in place of the native iPhone bedtime alarm but it makes a mindful difference. That would have been my solution has COVID not affirmed me the luxury of time shifting. 2021 is about me understanding mindfulness and actively applying it to my life. I realise I’m not without mindfulness I definitely want it to be part of me longer, more habitual in a life affirming manner. Am I alone in this aspiration. 

No incentive to post about this app except that I use and recommend it.

Let me know if you give it a go and your experience.


The value of balance

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Not being drawn to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram while I ponder my day over my first morning coffee leaves me with LinkedIn and email. 

LinkedIn notifications presented me with 12 things I learnt taking 12 months off the ‘gram by James Whatley 

I’m not alone in removing so called social apps from handheld devises even among those who social media is part of their professional sector.

James came on my radar when he did a session at MediaCampBucks back in 2007 introducing me to SpinVox a service that turned voicemail into text messages. Another lost platform. James has has a vibrant and aspirational career path I have followed though out my digital leaning phase of my own career. 

The desktop and mobile devises, access through browser or app are physiologically separate. It’s important. I was loosing quality in my present. Loosing depth perception from my physical experience. I made this decision to step back not because I couldn’t but because I didn’t like the feeling that I could but didn’t. Compulsory and Compulsion, that it was compulsive with no positive response. Anything else that would make me feel this way I would stop. It had to stop!

Instagram specifically was a recent bug bear as it became more and more dominated by advertising and sales. 
I don’t like, don’t agree with what the algorithm thinks I like. I don’t know what that says about me but I just find in irrelevant and creepy.

I have alway been very selective in who I accept friend requests from or chose to follow. I’m not particularly bothered that I have people and accounts I follow on Twitter that don’t follow back.
For me it has always been out the content and insight, conversation and wider context. Trusted sources are no less trusted despite not having reciprocal recognition.

But my ‘news’ feeds are limited and interest me less and less. They trigger disillusionment and annoyance more and more.

Surprisingly it has left me with LinkedIn and a renewed desire to blog. For James that was posting his Medium post using status updates embedded from Instagram and Twitter into LinkedIn.

I looked at my LinkedIn notification and immediately found an item by someone I wanted to hear from with a topic that interested. I read it and it has informed the direction of my post today.

I was reflecting on content fed to me by the algorithms after watching The Social Dilemma on Netflix which confirmed everything I already knew and iterated the problems of subliminal influence and control exhibited as a means to an end in making users (a term used for its customers only by the drugs trade and tech industries) spend precious attention with a single objective of selling that attention even the potential of your attention to the cause wanting to influence your perspective.

It’s not just about selling. There is crass transparency in selling. Thrusting a product using presumptive data increasing the chance of a transaction for monetary gain by the advertisers.

It’s the perception influence that disturbs me. Changing what people think. That is what is ‘paid’ for. 

Data data data - that too

The value of balance? Mindfulness is on one side of my scales. What will 2021 comprise of to create my balance.  weigh? I have to know the gravitas of my control mass, the capacity and requisite quality of my Mindfulness.

What is the quality capacity of your mindfulness. How do you balance? 
I may have identified my tipping point where to not address this value balance is harmful to my sense of self.